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10 reasons to love a recession

Chicken Little and I differ on the coming recession. He hears the "R" word and immediately thinks "financial ruin."

I hear "recession" and think "disco!"

If you are old enough to have worn a mood ring, Earth shoes or bell-bottoms the first time around, you probably recall the "stagflation" days of the 1970s with a bemused mix of humor, national pride and nostalgia.

The forecast was just as dire back then, and for good reason. In 1975, inflation topped 14 percent, unemployment approached 6 percent (but doubled that in some locales), and fuel and food prices were headed skyward.

Most of us would be well into the Reagan years before our wallets grew appreciably heavier.

The funny thing is, I don't remember the sacrifice. We drove used cars and lived within our means, since car leasing and credit cards were not yet widespread.

We rented and shared apartments, since the average home mortgage rate hovered around 10 percent.

We shouldered none of the financial burden of such modern conveniences as cell phones, high-speed Internet or fitness center memberships.

No one wants a recession, of course. It can cause serious economic pain for millions.

Happy slowdown!
Recessions undoubtedly cause serious economic pain. But there is a silver lining in every downturn. Here are 10 positives to celebrate.
10 blessings of a recession
1. Family dinners
2. Shorter gas lines
3. Less junk mail
4. More coupons
5. Free fitness
6. Bargain SUVs
7. Business startup opportunities
8. Growth in gardening
9. Musical inspiration
10. New perspectives

However, economists tell us there are some reasons to actually welcome and perhaps even embrace a recession. After all, a recession is the ebb part of the natural ebb and flow of the U.S. economy.

Just as surely as hot markets cool and bulls turn to bears, capitalist economies take a breather every so often to pause and reflect. If they didn't, these corrections would be far crueler.

So, let's smile, lift our half-full cups of regular unleaded and toast these 10 very good things about impending bad times.

Family dinners
Want to start a revolution? Try eating dinner together as a family.

Recessions tend to foster family mealtimes as the pin money that drives fast-food meals and overscheduled lives dries up. Nothing could be better for America, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Research has shown that family meals promote a healthier and more balanced diet, foster better communication and ward off teen suicide, eating disorders and substance abuse.

Next: "Can curb service of Red Bull and Slim Jims be far behind?"
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